read the book!

Thinking about a different project – a topic for another day – I was looking in one of the older Bolt Action campaign books, Ostfront: Barbarossa to Berlin. In the pages I found another take on the Belski Brothers.

The Warlord Games version is for a partisan squad. The key twist is gaining the fanatic rule when opposed by SS units. Officially for the Soviet lists, I see no reason why these squads could not be included in a partisan force. Combined with my special character rules for the Belski brothers it could make a fun eastern front themed Partisan force.

So, there you go. Read those books, you never know what you might find.

weird war turkey

Back in 2018 I wondered what sort of army Turkey would have in the weird-science, alternate history world of Konflikt 47. And, here is my answer.

Staying neutral as long as possible, Turkey enters the war late, signing as part of the Axis with Germany. With the real and fictional history only diverging in 1943, I felt this was a great opportunity to field a wide range of armour and other units, representing an under-prepared Turkey scrambling to respond to the seeming unavoidable Soviet invasion from the east and north-east.

I have chosen to restrict the number of units with weird technology. This reflects the junior partner nature, and likely German skepticism of just how committed their new ally is to the cause. In particular, I have no horror causing units which are such a distinct feature of German lists.

I swapped the heads of the Italian heavy infantry. I ended up with this set accidentally when I grabbed the Italian instead of the German box. Always take your reading glasses to the hobby shop. There is little chance for confusion, as this is a distinct looking unit in the force. Tougher than ordinary infantry they are still susceptible to anything that have armour piercing capability. If you can get them into cover near an objective they will be hard to dislodge.

The core of most armies are ordinary, regular infantry squads. With a few fezzes added, they are armed as late-war Germans. One squad has an LMG, but under my home brew they don’t get the Hitler’s Buzz Saw special rule, so no extra shot, leaving them with the same number of shots as other armies.

The second compulsory infantry choice has assault rifles and a panzerfaust.

Not all units are first-line. I will use these WWI Ottoman Turks from Woodbine Design as inexperienced troops.

Germany have deployed observers. Their role is to train and advise their new allies in battle spaces impacted by weird technology. Veteran observers have the special rule, Weird Tech is Expensive, which allows Turkey to field (selected) units with weird technology. These miniatures are Gebirgsjäger from Black Tree Design.

By keeping the colour palette restricted I have helped to give a more cohesive look to what is otherwise an intentionally disparate model selection.

A Panzer IV in Turkish livery. The decals are 1:48 modern Turkish air force and have come out great.

The Panzer IV-X is funky science version of the Panzer IV. The turret is a simple swap with the ordinary Panzer IV. So, while I can’t field both, I have the choice to field either in a game.

The Allied nations had hoped Turkey would join the war on their side. Part of this process was access to the Lend Lease program, where Turkey took delivery of a wide range of different tanks, all in small numbers. This included Valentines. This model is from Rubicon.

Every army needs officers. These figures are all from the Woodbine Design first world war range. They are lovely minis, full of character.

A German Liaison officer and his interpreter. As long as the interpreter is alive, the officer gets to use his German national rule to add an extra unit to the number he can Snap To. Liaison officers also have the Weird Tech is Expensive rue, so are an alternative to an Observer squad. Next project might need to include some practice with faces.

Support squads include a Pak 38.

Which has a Kettenkrad as a tow. This is another Rubicon kit.

A sniper and his spotter.

A medium Mortar.

A medium machine gun, another set from the Woodbine Design Ottoman range.

An anti-tank gun. By the late war these were mostly useless against most of the common armour. However, these heavy caliber rifles have found a role on the Konflikt 47 battlefield as a specialised sniper targetting heavy infantry and lightly armoured walkers.

Perhaps my favourite model is this Spinne Light Panzermech. Silly and wonderful in equal measure. In game they are reliable reconnaissance vehicles, suitable for rough terrain.

A feature of the Independence War in the early 1920s were irregular fighters that fought both for and against the emerging Republic (and sometimes both). I have included a unit of irregular cavalry, reflecting local resistance to the invasion of their homeland in 1947.

In addition to the painting and modelling, I have written a home brew army list. A draft version is posted here.

There are heaps more pictures in other posts. You can find them by using tags, especially the tag Turkish Army. My next goal will be to get them onto the table.

Thanks for coming on this journey with me so far.

Rise Up

Members of the resistance faced many dangers: discovery, betrayal, and the direct danger of violence while carrying out their duty. Many resistance fighters were not even armed. For most it was a significant risk to just obtain weapons and ammunition, even before other acts of resistance could be contemplated.

As the Allied army approached Paris in August 1944 the population of Paris, led by the French Forces of the Interior, rose up in rebellion. One of them was Georges Loiseleur, an ex-soldier and active member of the army of the interior. Like many, he went out onto the streets to find a weapon.

A German truck was attacked with a grenade as it drove along Quai des Grands-Augustins, which runs along the left bank of the Seine. Scrambling through the wreckage to salvage a weapon, not all the Germans were dead. Instead of finding a rifle to join the liberation, George was shot dead by a German armed with a pistol.

Georges Loiseleur died August 1944, age 28, and is commemorated by a small plaque near the spot where it happened.

To capture some of this in Bolt Action I propose being able to add unarmed fighters to late war partisan squads. The unarmed fighters have the special rule Rise Up! that provides a chance to obtain a rifle during the game. This rule reflects the risks taken by people like George during those frantic days of liberation in the final months of the war.

Special Rule: Rise Up!
A regular Partisan Squad (Late War) or an inexperienced Partisan Squad can add 0 to 3 unarmed fighters for +5 points (inexperienced) or +8 points (regular) per unarmed fighter. The quality of the unarmed fighters must be the same as the rest of the squad.

If an enemy infantry or artillery unit takes at least one casualty within 12” of a unit with an unarmed fighter, roll a d6 for each unarmed model up to the number of casualties:

4-6: weapon acquired. Replace the unarmed model with a model armed with a rifle.
2-3: no weapon found. The unarmed fighter may try again if the opportunity arises.
 1: tragedy strikes. The unarmed model is killed or wounded attempting to find a weapon and is removed from play (this doesn’t cause a pin).

While unarmed, models cannot shoot or attack in close combat, but can be removed as casualties.

The sort of early war actions of obtaining war material is a story outside the scope of Bolt Action.

These unarmed fighters cost on point more than unarmed fighters in Soviet penal squads. This reflects the chance that some will survive long enough to obtain a weapon.

The Belski Brothers

Tuvia Belski was a Polish Army veteran and a charismatic leader who led a group of men, women and children, which grew to over 1,200 people by the end of the war.

Belski and his brothers led their partisan band through the terrors of the nazi occupation, often hiding deep in the forests of Belarus. Check them out, the story is amazing.

The base Partisan list has access to first and second lieutenants, who can be either inexperienced or regular quality, but not veteran. This makes sense for the core list and reflects the lack of organisation and structure of most partisan organisations.

However, every partisan movement included extraordinary people, men and women, of outstanding courage, skills and charisma. It would be nice to be able to bring some of these elite personalities into Bolt Action, expanding selection choice and range of Partisan armies that can be deployed.

The Warsaw Uprising theatre list in the Road to Berlin campaign book includes officers of higher ranks and the option for taking veteran offices. This makes sense for the AK. This same entry could be used for a late war Yugoslav National Liberation force, or even a Soviet Partisan force.

Special characters are another way of rounding out some of the holes in the Partisan list. Assigning points for new or additional rules without distortion is a delicate thing. However, re-skinning existing rules, or tweaking so modestly it may as well be re-skinning, is a safer route.

The home brew special character mashes together four things: history, and the existing rules for captains, intelligence officers, and Hungarian officers.

Tuvia Belski, partisan hero, is a regular captain (110 points).
You may add up to two additional partisans from the following list:
Asael Belski (+10 points); Zus Belski (+30 points); Partisan fighter (+10 points).
Named characters may only be selected once per force.
Weapons: pistol, SMG, or rifle as depicted on the model.
Special rules:
Asael: as long as Asael is alive, Tuvia and his unit gain the fanatic special rule
Zus: has the intelligence officer special rule (see Italy: Soft Underbelly).
Once per game Zus may act on intelligence he has gathered; before the first die is drawn, on a 4+ he may choose a die from the bag for the first activation.

Clearly, these rules are not official and will need your opponents permission to try out. The fanatic rule for Asael has no additional cost. It is based on the national rule for Hungary. Just as in Hungarian list, it appears for some flavour that will have little effect on the game. Unless some crazy cinematic moment occurs. Very Bolt Action.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. On Tuvia, special characters in Bolt Action. or other ideas to extend the partisan list.

A project revived

Far too long ago I had an idea to create a Turkish themed list for Warlord Games’ fun weird war member of the Bolt Action family, Konflikt 47. The models have been purchased and languishing in the backlog ever since. Well, I uncovered them the other day and thought I either needed to get started or move them on. Only WIP today, a public statement of intent to get some painting done! It wasn’t overly successful last time, but at least assembly has begun.

If you want painted minis I suggest having a look at the rather fun round-up of the Neglected But Not Forgotten challenge over at Anne’s Immaterium. Well worth a look for all the ace talent on show.

No weird stuff yet. I have concentrated on the Turkish army units and their supporting German troops.

WWI Ottoman Turks with a few tweaks like panzerfausts; these will be inexperienced/second line troops
Gebirgsjäger, who will take the role of Axis troops embedded with the Turkish force
One of the Turkish squads, basically grenadiers with fezzes. I have shaved off the tassel and eagle to match the military dress from the 1920s Turkish Army
Squad number two, with an LMG
Sniper team (the turban is not right, being Sikh, I’m sure he has a story tell)
An anti-tank rifle, which in K-47 can be used in the sniper role to hunt light armour and walkers
Kit-based irregular cavalry.

I have also created a draft home brew list for Turkey. It is based on the German list, but with additions motivated by the lists for Hungary and Bulgaria. More on that later. It isn’t quite ready to be released into the wild yet.

The officers including a German liaison officer

A start. More assembly yet, as I need to put together a couple of vehicles. And then the paint, of course.